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What matters now. A publication from Medium about politics, power, and culture.


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The president’s savior complex was central to my annual list of geopolitical forecasts

Photo illustration: Paul Spella; image sources: Getty Images (1), Reuters (1), Shutterstock (4)

How I Got Radicalized

As the daughter of South Vietnamese refugees, I had to hide my interest in Ho Chi Minh’s socialist theories

Photo illustration; image source: Keystone-France/Getty Images

As legal efforts to eliminate trans youth ramp up, we must remember that being trans has always been part of childhood

Three trans girls photographed on July 7, 2018, in Round Rock, Texas. Photo: Adam Gray/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Rumors of War

I’m a conflict analyst and war reporter. The state of America right now makes me anxious.

Photo illustration: Anthony Gerace; source: Antoine Gyori — Corbis/Getty Images

Living in Sri Lanka during the end of the civil war, I saw how life goes on, surrounded by death

A water tower bombed by the Tamil Tigers in the final stages of the Sri Lankan civil war in 2008. Photo: Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto/Getty Images

Political accountability is the missing ingredient

Disinfection professionals spray antiseptic solution in a classroom in Seoul, South Korea, on May 11, 2020, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus ahead of school reopenings. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Sweden made headlines for never shutting down. Here’s what’s really happening there.

People line up while keeping distance in Stockholm, Sweden on May 8. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/Getty Images

I was overcome with guilt after my family sent me a box of 200 surgical masks from Hong Kong

Illustration: Gisella Tan

Social distancing measures and widespread testing are among the reasons why some countries have been able to reopen

Photo illustration. Photo source: Tony Savino/Getty Images

Elected officials have mismanaged the coronavirus pandemic, and it feels like the worst type of déjà vu

Photo: Ricardo Arduengo /Getty Images


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